# How fast is a Warp?

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Just curious if any of you Star Trek fans know how fast a Warp is, and if it's a linear exelleration (Warp 2 is twice as fast as Warp 1).

Mightybec

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In Classic Trek, the warp factor is the number by which the speed of light is "cubed", i.e....

Warp 1 = Lightspeed

Warp 2 = Lightspeed x 8

Warp 3 = Lightspeed x 27

And so on. The warp factor calculation was refigured for ST:TNG; something about wanting to make Warp 10 the ultimate, unattainable speed equivalent to teleportation (i.e., you're there already). I could be more specific, but unfortunately I don't have my tech manual with me right now....

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Re: How fast is a Warp?

Originally posted by Mightybec

Just curious if any of you Star Trek fans know how fast a Warp is, and if it's a linear exelleration (Warp 2 is twice as fast as Warp 1).

It's not linear. According to the latest Star Trek RPG (which gets its info from the source), it breaks down like this:

```Warp      # of Times
[u]Factor[/u]   [u]Speed of Light[/u]
1             1
2            10
3            39
4           102
5           214
6           392
7           656
8          1024
9          1516
```

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If you're interested in a more detailed breakdown of warp speeds, check out the warp speed chart from startreksite.com. This data is from the printed Star Trek Encyclopedia.

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It all depends on who you ask. For me, since I just went to the used bookstore today, I looked up in my recently accquired copy of ST:TNG Technical Manual.....

From page 55:

"Field intensity increases geometrically and is a function of the total of the individual field layer values..... For example, a ship travelling at Warp Factor 3 is maintaining a warp field of at least 39 cochranes and is therefore traveling at 39 times c , the speed of light."

Also according to the book:

Warp Factor

1=1 cochrane = x1 c (speed of light)

2=10 cochranes=x10

3=39= x39... and so on.

The full 'progression' is 1, 10, 39, 102, 214, 392, 656, 1024, 1516.

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At the risk of tooting my own horn (what? me? never!), I'd recommend that you go to TrekRPG.Net and download the four or five books I give away free in PDF format there: Spacedock and four Ship Recognition Manuals created using the Spacedock rules. They're the best condensation of info on Star Trek starships I know of.

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Steve, I agree. I have downloaded your starship recognition manuals and there's a lot of great stuff in them. Now, I'm just waiting for you to translate them into HERO stats so I can compare them to the TE ships.

BTW, for whatever reason, the TrekRPG URL has changed recently. It is www.trek-rpg.net now.

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I think it changed due to some server switchover problem or the like.

Hmmm, a Spacedock-Hero conversion... Not on the agenda for anytime soon, but worth considering just for fun if I ever have the time.

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Originally posted by Steve Long

I think it changed due to some server switchover problem or the like.

Hmmm, a Spacedock-Hero conversion... Not on the agenda for anytime soon, but worth considering just for fun if I ever have the time.

Don't tease me like that!! It's bad enough that Decipher can't get thier ships right (I like the system though), but to have the creator of Spacedock/HERO dangle a really good idea like a crossover (when are you going to help those poor guys at Decipher get thier ships together??) in front of me...aiigghh!!

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Well not "official" but one of the novels says Warp was figured as a Exponent-which of course would lead to speed WAY above the Speed of Light lol..... Warp 9 would be 9x9x9x9x9x9x9x9x9 times the speed of light....387420489 times the speed of light to be exact lol - I think the author was smoking something when he came up with this...

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Originally posted by 5 Sided D6

Well not "official" but one of the novels says Warp was figured as a Exponent-which of course would lead to speed WAY above the Speed of Light lol..... Warp 9 would be 9x9x9x9x9x9x9x9x9 times the speed of light....387420489 times the speed of light to be exact lol - I think the author was smoking something when he came up with this...

If my calculations are correct, this would make the travel time from Earth to Alpha Centauri about 1/3rd of a second. That seems a bit fast, even for warp 9, I must agree.

However, the "official" way seems a bit slow, honestly. At warp 9 if warp 9 = 1514c, then it takes about 24 hours to get from Earth to Alpha Centauri. That seems like a lot of travel time for a super-advanced ship at maximum speed to get just to the nearest star of a far-flung Federation. This is just intuitive, though... I haven't actually looked at how many G-type stars are within a certain radius of Sol or whatever...

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Ah but you have failed to account for the Cochrane's Factor.

What's the Cochrane's Factor you ask? It something that the 1st and 2nd generation fans used to explain the sometimes absurd speeds that the Enterprise would travel at in TOS.

Follow this link to page on Warp Drive at my website to see basically how it works.

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Originally posted by Derek Hiemforth

If my calculations are correct, this would make the travel time from Earth to Alpha Centauri about 1/3rd of a second. That seems a bit fast, even for warp 9, I must agree.

However, the "official" way seems a bit slow, honestly. At warp 9 if warp 9 = 1514c, then it takes about 24 hours to get from Earth to Alpha Centauri. That seems like a lot of travel time for a super-advanced ship at maximum speed to get just to the nearest star of a far-flung Federation. This is just intuitive, though... I haven't actually looked at how many G-type stars are within a certain radius of Sol or whatever...

It's not too far off. Remember that everytime they went anywhere in TNG they were always 2-3 days out from wherever they were going. And they could go what? 9.7 for a few days at a time. Voyager prety much proves with their 70 years to cross the galaxy bit, that normal crusing speed is less than 1000c.

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Originally posted by Bartman

It's not too far off. Remember that everytime they went anywhere in TNG they were always 2-3 days out from wherever they were going

But they were rarely rushing about at warp 9. Later in the series, they were restricted to warp 5 except in extreme emergency. At that speed, it would be about a week from Sol to Alpha Centauri.

And of course, they were often going only warp 1 or warp 2. S'Gonna take 'em ferever to git annywhere at that rate!

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You are right that it does seem slow Derek. But it appears to be the case. Here are all the distance/travel times I am aware of that were quoted on the shows. All the numbers are roughly rounded. And while the ships do seem to go faster than 1000c, they only seem to do so in response to some emergency. Cruising speeds are fairly slow.

Over Warp 8 = 260,000c (10 kly in 2 weeks) - VOY "Equinox"

Warp 9.9 =13,000c (4 Tm/sec) - VOY "The 37's"

Top Speed (???) = 13,000c (3 ly in 2 hrs) - VOY "Critical Care"

Max Warp (9.6) = 9000c (2.7 million ly in 300+ years) - TNG "Where No One Has Gone Before"

Warp ??? = 8,800c (2 ly in 2 hrs) - VOY "Unimatrix Zero"

Warp ??? = 6,700c (2 Tm/sec) - VOY "Maneuvers"

Max Warp (???) = 3,000c (0.7 ly in 2 hrs) - VOY "Inside Man"

Max Sustainable Warp (???) = 2700c (7000 ly in 2yrs 7mo) - TNG "Q Who"

Max Warp (???) = 1600c (264 ly in 2 months) - VOY "Friendship One"

Max Warp (???) = 1000c (70 kly in 75 years) - VOY "The Caretaker"

Warp 9 = 800c (300 Tm in 20min) - TNG "Bloodlines"

Warp 9 = 700c (7 kly in 100 years) - TNG "The Price"

Warp ??? = 650c (0.54 parsecs in one day) - TNG "Clues"

Warp 3 = 39c (0.1 ly in 23 hours) - TNG "The Most Toys

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Originally posted by Bartman

You are right that it does seem slow Derek. But it appears to be the case. Here are all the distance/travel times I am aware of that were quoted on the shows. All the numbers are roughly rounded. And while the ships do seem to go faster than 1000c, they only seem to do so in response to some emergency. Cruising speeds are fairly slow.

Over Warp 8 = 260,000c (10 kly in 2 weeks) - VOY "Equinox"

Warp 9.9 =13,000c (4 Tm/sec) - VOY "The 37's"

Top Speed (???) = 13,000c (3 ly in 2 hrs) - VOY "Critical Care"

Max Warp (9.6) = 9000c (2.7 million ly in 300+ years) - TNG "Where No One Has Gone Before"

Warp ??? = 8,800c (2 ly in 2 hrs) - VOY "Unimatrix Zero"

Warp ??? = 6,700c (2 Tm/sec) - VOY "Maneuvers"

Max Warp (???) = 3,000c (0.7 ly in 2 hrs) - VOY "Inside Man"

Max Sustainable Warp (???) = 2700c (7000 ly in 2yrs 7mo) - TNG "Q Who"

Max Warp (???) = 1600c (264 ly in 2 months) - VOY "Friendship One"

Max Warp (???) = 1000c (70 kly in 75 years) - VOY "The Caretaker"

Warp 9 = 800c (300 Tm in 20min) - TNG "Bloodlines"

Warp 9 = 700c (7 kly in 100 years) - TNG "The Price"

Warp ??? = 650c (0.54 parsecs in one day) - TNG "Clues"

Warp 3 = 39c (0.1 ly in 23 hours) - TNG "The Most Toys

Wow. Umm... real consistent there, aren't they?

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Everyone knows that Star Trek ships travel at Plot Speed. It has no reason or consistancy.

Bajor was way the hell out there on the fringe, but late in ds9 they could get there from earth in seemingly no time at all.

____

So, let's work on a fanwank....

If you're a mathematician, then the TNG warp Factor is c* (wf)^(10/3) up until warp factor nine, and then the scale does something that best fits with arctan factors and the like.

But we'll call Theoretical Speed the c*(wf)^(10/3)

The Cochrane or Chi factor of cource modifies that as follows

Actual Speed = Theoretical Speed * Cochrane factor.

The Cochrane factor depends on how well subspace is mapped, it also depends on local conditions and the like. In other words, it's the perfect fudge factor, since it can mean anything, and be anything.

So, the trip to Bajor gets much faster as the ships know exactly where in subspace to go to get the least (most?) resistance to their travel. The Cochrane factor is much higher.

A friend of mine calculated that in ds9 24 seemed to be a good number to use (1 day's supposed travel in 1 hour)

But, still, it's all dependant on dramatics.

D

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Hmm, now I'll admit to considering myself a recovering Trekkie, but wasn't the original rule that it was a factor of 8? Warp 1 equals speed of light, Warp 2 equals 8 times SoL, Warp 3 equals 64 times SoL... I know they ended up changing it during one of TNG's last seasons, though...

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Originally posted by TheEmerged

Hmm, now I'll admit to considering myself a recovering Trekkie, but wasn't the original rule that it was a factor of 8? Warp 1 equals speed of light, Warp 2 equals 8 times SoL, Warp 3 equals 64 times SoL... I know they ended up changing it during one of TNG's last seasons, though...

In TOS it was Warp^3. So...

Warp 1 = 1c

Warp 2 = 8c

Warp 3 = 27c

Warp 4 = 64c

Warp 5 = 125c

Warp 9 = 729c

TNG and later never officially used this scale. And whatever the new warp equation is it is undefined/infinate at Warp 10. Below Warp 9 the speeds are near the TOS scale. Above Warp 9 speeds rise precipitously. And any change near 10 result in huge differences in speed. Nominally Warp 9.99 is suposedly 8,000c while 9.9999 is suposedly 200,000c. But most of this is fan speculation. And if you really want to get consistancy you have to use something like misterdeath's Cochrane factor. Because consistancey just isn't Trek's strong suite.

In the end, under normal circumstances, Fed ships seem to be able to sprint for short times at somewhere around 10,000c but normally cruise from 500c - 3000c. To go over that Feds have to use alternative techs like Borg Transwarp conduits or the Equinox's energy aliens.

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It is all plot driven. As gamers we have to have things mapped out.

Even in B5, JMS said the range of a Star Fury was from the beginning of the plot to the end.

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I read in one of the Tech Manuals that New Gen's warp speed went.

Warp 1=1

Warp 2=32

Warp 3=243

Warp 4=1024

Warp 5=3125

Warp 6=7776

Warp 7=16807

Warp 8=32768

Warp 9=59049

Warp 10=100,000

The value was (Warp Speed)^5 compared to TOS's (Warp Speed)^3

IMPO the Transwarp drives of the Excelesior and the Enterprise A would use (Warp Speed)^4 for their speed ratings.

Does that help a bit?

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Do you remember what Tech Manual, ShinDangaioh? I have at least read all of the ones I know of. And none of them ever had anything that specific in them. It doesn't match up with any of the fan sites either. So I am curious as to your source.

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Originally posted by Bartman

Do you remember what Tech Manual, ShinDangaioh? I have at least read all of the ones I

The original Star Trek Writer's Guide. It was also referenced in The Making of Star Trek.

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I knew I read it somewhere. Since it was techincal, I thought it was a tech manual. shrug. Oh well. At least you have the answer and the source(s)

Ah. I found where I read it at.

Star Trek Next Generation Officer's Manual by FASA pg 105.

They did have one of the writers on Star Trek give technical advice on the Galaxy Class cruiser.

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Thanks. I'll check those out.

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